Delicious Vegan Recipes that use Adzuki Beans

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adzuki bean bacon on a plate with tofu scramble

Adzuki beans are high in micronutrients such as folate, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. I hope these delicious adzuki bean recipes inspire you. Since all of these recipes are vegan, they are perfect for anyone on a plant-based diet.

Table of Contents

(click the links below to skip to each item with a link to the recipes)

The first time I ever tried adzuki beans was inside of mochi. You know that sweet red bean paste that’s frequently in mochi? Those are adzuki beans!

Then many years later, I was having dinner at a restaurant in Venice Beach, CA and ordered spaghetti squash that had adzuki bean bacon in it. That’s when I learned that I prefer my adzuki beans to be savory rather than sweet. And that’s when I came up with the first recipe in this list.

What Are Adzuki Beans?

Adzuki beans are smallish red beans that grow in east Asia. If you find them in cans, they are sometimes labeled aduki beans. I’ve even seen them referred to as Azuki beans, but I always assumed it was a typo. The size of each bean before it’s cooked is smaller than a navy bean but bigger than a split pea.

They have nutrients that other healthy beans don’t have so incorporating them into your diet is a great idea. Some of the health benefits that people claim adzuki beans have are improved digestion and lowered risk of diabetes. But I think those benefits also just come from eating more plant-based foods in general.

heart plate full of dried adzuki beans

How To Cook Adzuki Beans

I know adzuki beans are less common than pinto beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans. However, it is possible to find canned ones at some supermarkets. I personally prefer to buy dried beans in bulk at my local natural foods co-op and cook them myself. Here is how I do that.

Cover the adzuki beans in water. I use 3-4 times the amount of water as I use beans to make sure they’re still submerged after a lot of hours. (They increase in size when they sit in water.)

Soak the adzuki beans for a minimum of 8 hours. I usually just start them soaking the night before I want to cook them and leave them on the counter while I sleep.

Rinse the beans well after they finish soaking.

Cover the beans in filtered water. If you’re cooking them in a pot on the stove, you want to use 3-4 times the amount of water. If you’re cooking them in a pressure cooker or an instant pot, you don’t need as much water.

Cook the adzuki beans until they’re tender. In a stovetop or electric pressure cooker (like an instant pot), cook them for about 10 minutes on high pressure. On the stove, you may need up to 30 minutes. The cooking time varies because on the stove, they’ll have to cook on a lower heat so they won’t boil over.

Pour the beans and cooking water into a colander to drain the water.

Rinse the beans one more time. I know it seems excessive to rinse them so much, but your digestion will thank you. You know that limerick about beans? Yeah, we want to avoid that as much as possible, and soaking and rinsing helps. I even rinse canned beans when I use them.

How to Sprout Adzuki Beans

sprouted adzuki beans

You may already know how to cook adzuki beans from your experience with other dry beans. You may also already know why we soak and rinse beans and the importance of preventing lectin toxicity. If you knew all that, chances are you already know about the importance of sprouting beans.

If you don’t already know, this tutorial on sprouting adzuki beans should get you up to speed. I used to always sprout my beans before cooking them in a slow cooker, but that was like 20 years ago and time is so muc more abundant when we’re young isn’t it?

Savory Adzuki Bean Recipes

Vegan Adzuki Bean Bacon

adzuki bacon as a garnish in a bloody mary

This vegan bacon recipe was inspired by the bacon at the Butcher’s Daughter in Venice, CA. I had never made vegan bacon from scratch before this recipe. I figured it would be a good excuse to eat more healthy adzuki beans. You do need a food processor for this recipe, but you might be able to get by with a blender.

Vegan Aduki Bean Curry

adzuki bean curry

Curry is my secret trick to eating healthy foods that I normally wouldn’t like. Curry can make any food taste amazing. You can add mustard greens, winter squash, or sweet potatoes to a curry, and it will be amazing. Not even joking. So, even though I haven’t tried it, there’s no way this adzuki bean curry recipe isn’t delicious.

Vegan Adzuki Hummus

hummus made with adzuki beans instead of chickpeas

Everyone loves traditional hummus right? Why does hummus always have to be made with chickpeas? Why not use different kinds of beans to diversify our nutrients? This adzuki bean dip is questioning authority and being it’s own person. And I love it for being unique.

It calls for more ingredients than the traditional olive oil, lemon, tahini, and salt. But I bet the additional spices are optional. And if you do add them, they probably level up the flavor profile.

Red Dragon Pie

a serving of red dragon pie on a plate

Red dragon pie is like the chinese version of vegan shepherd’s pie. I guess in China, adzuki beans and other red beans are sometimes referred to as red dragon beans. How cute is that?!

Vegan Adzuki Bean Gyoza

perfectly crimped gyoza

These adzuki bean gyozas have adzuki beans, veggies, scallions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes.

I’ve never had the patience to make gyoza from scratch. Once upon a time, when I hosted the southbay vegan drinks event, Yesica came to my house and made a gazillion empanadas. I saw how much effort it was (a lot)! That’s the kind of effort I assume Hannah put into these.

Adzuki Bean Bowl

adzuki macrobiotic bowl

This adzuki bean bowl contains adzuki beans, soba noodles, broccoli, and sauerkraut. It’s all covered with a turmeric tahini sauce. The recipe offers an alternative to use brown rice instead of soba to make this gluten-free.

Sesame Rice and Adzuki Bean Cakes

Adzuki Bean Cakes

Sesame Rice and Adzuki Bean Cakes remind me of the kinds of things I cooked when I first went vegan. I would make these “birdseed” burgers that I told my kids were big bird’s favorite, haha.

These healthy patties are made with sesame seeds, adzuki beans, rice, root veggies, and kombu seaweed. The recipe also has a sesame miso dressing you can make to drizzle over these delicious, calcium-rich rice cakes.

Adzuki Bean Soup with Pearl Barley and Kale

adzuki and pearl barley soup

This warming adzuki bean soup is a creation of Vegan Cocotte. With pearl barley and kale, this vegan soup is filling and nutritious. The acidity from tomato paste and lemon juice offers a balance to this savory meal.

Vegan Adzuki Bean Desserts

Adzuki Bean Mousse

This Japanese inspired dessert combines two popular flavors: green tea and adzuki beans. This mousse also looks like the perfect consistency to be a frosting on a green tea cupcake.

vegan adzuki bean mousse piped into a matcha cake cup

Vegan Rice and Bean Pudding

vegan rice pudding with adzuki beans

I know you’ve heard of rice pudding. But have you heard of rice and bean pudding? This was a first for me, but I would definitely order it. I bet this rice and bean pudding would be even better if you added some cocoa powder or chocolate chips!

Rice pudding will forever and always remind me of a rice pudding parlor I went to in NYC. I ordered mint chip rice pudding because that’s one of my favorite flavors. It was quite interesting.

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